MyBullfrog has roots in selling mobile phones dating back to 1994. These days, they're one of the most popular shopping spots for mobile devices on the Internet. Jason Hancock, MyBullfrog's director of marketing, spoke with us about mobile, where it's been and where it's heading.
What are some of the biggest changes you've seen in mobile technology since you started working in the industry?
The explosion of mobile search and apps has been very interesting, and it has an effect on almost every facet of life as we know it today. Before phones were connected to the internet through apps and web browsers, all search was done at home, work or school. Now, with search engines and apps at everyone's fingertips anywhere and any time, it is amazing to see the effect they have. People use search and apps for everything: shopping comparisons, finding a place to eat, map directions, learning outlets, alarm clocks, meditation guidance, and more. Search reviews and results influence so many decisions today, it is a wonder how we got along without them.
What are some of the more useful features of mobile technology that some consumers may not be aware of?
The sheer number of mobile applications and their uses is mind boggling. If there is a need, there is probably an app for it or someone is in the process of building it. There is such a wide array of uses in the app stores, it would be impossible to talk about all the uses. For anyone who is new to a smartphone, or even people who think they have it down, take a minute to just search for any topic that is relevant to your daily life in the app store or Google Play. I'll bet you find something useful. For those out there that think all apps are just games and silly time-wasting programs, ask a doctor, a pilot, or Wall Street banker if they have apps they use in their daily life. I'll bet they have more than a few.
What's the one thing everyone should do when they get a new phone?
Get a case, a screen protector and get insurance. The cost of replacing a smartphone is climbing these days, and protecting the investment should be a priority.
What are some good ways of securing your phone some consumers overlook?
This really depends on the type of phone you get. But all phones have a password lock function these days. Use it. People tend to forget how much of their life gets stored in these devices because it is such a common, everyday thing. With the addition of apps and file sharing, all sorts of banking, financial, personal documents and communications, etc., are easily accessible on the device. In the wrong hands, it could turn into a nightmare for a person who lost their phone. Avoid the majority of issues with a good strong pass code lock that is set to lock within a certain time if not used.
For Apple users, the "Find my iPhone" feature is a must to turn on. It helps you locate lost devices, perform remote lock and if needed, it can wipe the device remotely. Android has several apps that can help users get the same functionality.
Where do you see mobile technology heading in the future?
Connected devices and cross platform communications is the future. We are already seeing it commercially where people are controlling their home security and smart appliances from their phone. There are all sorts of applications here when you begin to think about it. The phone simply becomes your personal device that holds all your personal preferences and access points. Your car, office, home, or public buildings that are enabled connect and adjust to the personal settings controlled and communicated by your device.
Soon you will be go on a vacation and be able monitor your home anytime, anywhere. Forgot to turn off the TV or close the garage door? No problem, you do it from your phone on the runway before take off. As you step off the plane, the car and driver you asked for are waiting for you after being alerted to your arrival by the airport systems. Once you get in the car and are on the road, the hotel you booked is notified of your impending arrival and the rooms are prepared. After check-in, you step into the room and the lights, temperature, and movie channels all adjust to your personal settings. Amazing.
Sounds too far in the future, some people used to say...but it is already happening. With the introduction of wearable technology, this area is going to explode with innovation.
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